our new old fence

I’m so pleased with our new old fence – we saved a bunch of money and we avoided throwing something away. Sometimes that means making do with something ugly or a little sad but this time I think the make-do solution is better than the expensive new retail product.

In the backyard we have a wooden fence that hubby built and a chain link fence that the neighbors had built. We added split bamboo panels to the chain link fence when we moved in to screen our yard from the neighbors and the alley that runs behind the house. The bamboo aged pretty nicely, lasting about 5 years, but the wind was starting to rip the panels off the fence and the wire that held the bamboo together was rusting and breaking.

Hubby and I talked about our options. We looked at reed fences and new bamboo panels. I was getting ready to buy a new set of panels that would cost $150 or so and hubby was making plans to attach them to the fence with a million zip ties. We thought about the plastic strips that some people get – they weave right into the fence links, but they are plastic, they weather poorly, and they cost a fortune (I think our neighbor was quoted in the thousands of dollars!). Then I wondered aloud if we could use the old bamboo strips instead of plastic strips…. but I was sure it would be too much work….

Have I told you that hubby is a tad bit obsessive? Maybe I should be positive and use the words “determined” and “focused” instead. Once he gets going on an idea he can work on it for hours. I showed him what I was thinking of and he ran with it.

It’s great that we were able to re-use the old fence. I was planning to chop it up and send it out as yard waste to be chipped and composted, but the bamboo really wasn’t in bad shape. It was just the wire that was decomposing. The new fence can’t blow around because it’s woven securely through all of the links and the effect is quite cool. It looks the same on our neighbor’s side so they actually have a nicer fence now too.

I’m really glad that this worked out so well!


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7 Responses to our new old fence

  1. Amanda Rodgers says:


  2. space says:

    It looks great! & kudos to focused hubby!

  3. Gabrielle says:

    I’ve been searching for an inexpensive and solid solution for my chain link fence and this is brillant. Looks great. SOO glad you shared.

  4. Kelly says:

    This is precisely my issue in my backyard, with the same chainlink and worn bamboo panels. Your solution is both low-impact and fantastic. Truthfully through, how long did it take your husband to do and how unpleasant was it? No one around here has any OCD to help them with home project!

    • Thanks! Hubby says it did require a certain fastidiousness. He said the disassembly of the old panels took 2-3 hours – they were falling apart but he had to sort out the rotten bamboo. Putting the slats in the fence took another few (several?) hours, but wasn’t as bad. He remembers the disassembly being worst part. He had to snip a lot of rusty wire! He might be mis-remembering how long that took. But the process of buying new fence panels and attaching them was a nuisance too. And reattaching sections after a storm… Doing the project over a few weekends in good weather would be reasonable. Hubby chose to do it in very early (cold) spring and he doesn’t like to do a small portion of a task and then walk away. I think it was worth doing, but I would done it an hour a day over several days, not all in one weekend like I think he did.

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